Fixing California- A review

Chantal Lovell

Communications Director

Chantal Lovell
July 23, 2021

Fixing California- A review

Forty-some-odd candidates have officially thrown their hats into the ring to replace Governor Gavin Newsom if voters recall him September 14.

The list is a mere fraction of the 135 who faced off during the 2003 Gray Davis recall election, and, dare I say, a generally saner, though less well-known, bunch. There are a handful of business owners, current and former elected officials, attorneys, educators, and law enforcement officers. There’s also a college student, cannabis policy advisor, radio host, former olympian, and one candidate whose platform includes implementing an annual masquerade ball where attendees dress like the governor. 

But, the thing all candidates theoretically have in common is a desire to improve California, and advance policies that make the state a place families can thrive for generations to come. Fortunately for them, CPC’s Edward Ring has laid out the path forward in a recent, nine-part series that candidates should consider incorporating into their platforms.

In the Fixing California series, Ring lays out the major challenges and opportunities facing the Golden State, from forest management, to the homelessness crisis, to education. Though the ongoing California Exodus of residents moving to friendlier states might suggest otherwise, Ring argues all is not lost on the state; it can be saved.

“While fixing California requires both political will and smarter investment of public funds (OK, much smarter investment of public funds), none of this can happen without a change in attitude,” he writes. “How we think about problems needs to change.” 

For example, achieving energy abundance won’t happen through extreme mandates, but rather by balancing renewables – phased in over a longer timeframe – and all the other energy sources available to us. Weathering seasonal droughts won’t come simply through forced conservation, but by expanding California’s water supply through infrastructure investments like reservoirs and desalination plants. 

Ring continues to debunk the scarcity mindset in his installment focusing on solving California’s transportation challenges in practical ways residents will accept, best achieved through policies that encourage and allow private industry to innovate. Reducing California’s regulatory scheme is also key to providing affordable housing in the state, and, as Ring explains, can be done without inflicting the environmental catastrophe activists claim. Similarly, we must reject the fear mongering by extreme environmentalists that has created a reality in which California burns for months each year. The solution to protecting California forests (and residents, homes, and businesses) from wildfire is to actively manage and thin vegetation.

While policy changes, including empowering law enforcement, are needed to truly end California’s homelessness crisis, a change in perspective toward one that focuses on the root causes of the issue as opposed to the woke fad of the day is also necessary. Likewise, improving schools and education outcomes can only happen once Californians rethink public schooling at its core. To serve students and prepare them for long-term success, the state must move away from a one-size-fits-all model in which teacher union demands supersede student needs, toward one in which parents are empowered with choices to create the best educational framework for their children. 

“There are other big challenges that dominate the political dialogue in California and throughout America,” Ring concludes. “It is a broad and diverse list. But the seven topics chosen, if properly addressed, fulfill a practical goal. They give back to Californians – all Californians – something that’s been missing for decades: a prosperity economy where anyone willing to work hard can afford to live a secure life.”

Thank you for supporting the California Policy Center and making work like this possible. Stay tuned for the forthcoming Kindle book, Fixing California

Quote of the week

“Consider California in 2050, with the people fulfilling every bit of their potential and realizing their aspirations, because back in the 2020s and 2030s, Californians had the foresight to invest in massive but practical projects and transformative but sensible policies. This is the prosperity economy. This is the opportunity to advocate today. This is the choice. Anything is possible.” – Edward Ring, Fixing California

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